Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Unique Trains - Addendum

In the previous post, I have pictures of some unique trains. My friend, Brian, who works for the railroad, informed me that I was close on my guesses of what these strange machines actually do. However, I was not exactly correct and he guided me to understand each piece. I wanted to share that information for my memory and for anyone else interested.

I guessed the first engine, which was unusually long, cleaned the rocks that lay in between the rails. This is, in fact, what that machine does. It picks up the rocks, cleans them, and then returns them back down on the track (it is this last part I was not sure of). Because of the coal dust or other grime that may make the track less effective, they clean the rocks.

I speculated that the second device was a tamping tool, since that was written in large letters on its side. I said I thought it straightened the ties or made sure the ties were secure. This part was wrong. Brian indicated that this device picks up the rail, shoves the rocks under the rail, and then make sure the rail is level. That impressed me! I wished I had gotten a better video of that process.

Finally, the last car did what I deduced it did. It moves the rocks all back into place so that the rail is secure and the rocks are not scattered everywhere.

Again, I am not a train enthusiast, but maybe someone reading this is and did not know about these type of trains. I hope this has been educational. I know it is not all that spiritual, but it is at least fun!